We are created for one another. As early as birth, we human beings have already been trying to establish relationships and connections with other human beings. Month old babies who are looking around are actually looking for a pair of eyes that they can establish eye contact to. Even as adults, it has been proven experimentally that those who are under anxiety spend more time relating and making friends to others. We are social beings and we are born to love and be loved. Connecting to others is simply our human nature.
Unfortunately, because of our modern societal structure, people nowadays become separated from one another and we suffer feelings of isolation. We become more impersonal to one another as the workplace becomes filled with cubicles that resemble space capsules more than ‘work stations’ instead of the old layout where we can actually see one another. With this, what should be a simple ‘hello’ from a friend across our table has now become a mere memo on the in-tray.
Let us look closer on our society’s courtship behavior. Did you notice any change from the past decade? Do you still remember the days when you actually have to call up your crush at her home only to hang up when their father answers your call? Today, all the suitor has to do is flip out their mobiles and send an SMS saying “gdnyt” or log-in to their social networking accounts and send out virtual flowers. Would you believe if I tell you that I can find a wife in a website and marry her right at the internet? The world, because of progress, has become faster and more efficient than ever. The question now is, has man’s progress improved our sense of humanity or has it reduced us to mere machines that work more and more hours to sustain our so-called success?
All these ‘dehumanizing’ conditions have led to our frustrations as social beings. Being isolated from one another and being existentially frustrated, we cope by seeking immediate and meaningless pleasures that will never satisfy us. We look at our world today and stare in horror as suicide rates, divorce rates, addictions, domestic abuse, incidence of sexual crimes and perversions reach an all time high. In the 90’s, when I took up my clinical psychology, all we had to worry about then was suicide and homicide; now we have to worry about familicides, infanticides and even teenage group suicides! And since when did sexual perversions mutate from pedophilia to hebophilia and fetishism to bestiality?
As the world crumbles socially, psychologically and even spiritually, the more we need to reach out and connect with others. Human beings have to move in harmony with their nature or risk further psychological perversions. It comes to no surprise why people give their time and even their money volunteering in community work; they talk about gaining friends, learning from others and most of all, they feel good when they are able to help others. In short, they feel a sense of satisfaction because they feel more and more human again.
It is no exaggeration saying that money cannot buy happiness; by the same token that we can see millionaires who are empty, isolated and even angry at life. The truly happy people are genuinely happy because their success is not based on their career or finances; their success stems from their relationships. Nowadays, we isolate ourselves from our families and our relationships in order to find success and happiness. I sincerely believe that we have the formula written the other way around.
We cannot prevent all these worldly perversions by becoming more and more like machines. No, dehumanizing ourselves through isolation is not the answer. To become more human we should reach out and extend our love to one another. Human beings are social beings because we need each other.
* Image taken from Google Images